Camp Courage inspires kids to be like Helen Keller

As people prepare their year-end giving, the AOA is highlighting the many charitable and volunteer programs of Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation.

The goal: To inspire campers to a higher level of achievement, both academically and socially.

This week, we focus on a special group of children in Alabama. From Oct. 24-26, 10 blind, deaf or severely visually/hearing impaired campers took part in the first-ever "Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience." These inaugural participants learned about the arts and nature through programs that emphasize senses other than sight.

The camp came to fruition through a partnership between Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation and The Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Alabama and University of North Alabama.

Camp Courage offers hands-on learning experiences much like those the iconic Helen Keller encountered from an early age through adulthood. The motto of the camp: "Be Like Helen." The goal: To inspire campers to a higher level of achievement, both academically and socially.

Camper Grace McClellan, age 7, reached that goal when she won the 2013 Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama—and created the Optometry Cares® holiday card picture in the process. McClellan made her winning artwork from leaves, twigs, berries and wood.

How you can help:

  • Donate online to Optometry Cares®, and designate "Camp Courage" in your donation.
  • Volunteer to serve on the planning committee for Camp Courage in 2014. Contact Sue Pilkilton, executive director of the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation, at 256-383-4066 for more information.

December 20, 2013

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